Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) to Jussuph Bashaw Caramanli re: beating of an American government officer

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.154 Author/Creator: Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) Place Written: Tripoli Type: Manuscript document Date: 1809/11/01 Pagination: 2 p. 22.6 x 18 cm

Summary of Content: Marked "Copy" on first page. Davis writes regarding "the injuries and indignities . . . [suffered when] the American Broker was assaulted and beaten, without provocation, by a subject of his Regency." Davis demands reparations. GLC 2794.126 also refers to this incident. Notation on verso: "1."

Full Transcript:
(Copy)
It is with infinite regret that the undersigned is compelled in the most direct and formal manner, to pay before His Excellency the Bashaw of Tripoli the injuries and ...indignities which have recently been offered to this congratulate in the person of it's public servants and which have ultimately extended to the Consul himself.
About the 6. day of the present month of Ramadan the American Broker was assaulted and beaten, without provocation, by a subject of this sugenvy recourse immediately has to His Excellency justice; the offender sought refuge for two days in a Masque, and during this period the undersigned learned that His Excellency was not only most unwilling to accord reparation, but that even the further urging of his complaint would draw upon all the Servant of this Consulate His Excellency marked displeasure.
The undersigned ever remembering the many testimonies of friendship which His Excellency had manifested towards the United States, and under the expectation that the motives of his Silence would have been justly appreciated when His Excellency should have maturely considered the subject, allowed the enquiry to Cease.
On the 17. day of the present month the Janissary of this consulate was beaten in the presence of the undersigned by his excellency's Kanadar, and when a remonstrance was offered against so unprecedented the most opprobrious language dared to threaten the person of the Consul! This latter outrage, as unprovoked as it is intolerable, was offered at the public Marine and in the presence of a large concourse of people. -
Before the unsigned could obtain an audience of His Excellency he received a message prohibiting his form offering any direct complaint. The undersigned therefore communicated to His Excellency is Minister of Foreign Affairs his intention of making this remonstrance, but has delayed presenting it as well from the consideration [sic] of the fact as to allow time for His Excellency to view the serious extent of the injury that has been offered. ---
This high consideration which His Excellency has hitherto evidence towards the Government of the United States becomes undersigned to avoid, and the personal confidence and friendship reposed in him by His Excellency will ever fall with the loneliest sensitivity. Hence his regret in making this formal appeal to His Excellency justice is greatly increased. --- Byndlemn [sic] compact the Consul, the individual in his service, and a; under his immediately protection are assured by his Excellency of the most ample security in their person and property. An imperious sense of duty Consul the unsigned to demand satisfaction for the insult offered to the American flag; the with holding that reparation to which the undersigned is [illegible] justly entitled with warrant the belief that His Excellency has not vacationed the outrages complained of but that neither the person non family of the undersigned are only longer in a fate of safety.
(Signed) George Davis.

Tripoli 1. November 1809.
See More

People:

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Government and CivicsDiplomacyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyAfricaBarbary CoastBarbary WarsPiratesBarbary Pirates

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources